Posted tagged ‘caterpillar poop’

“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend”

June 23, 2017

Right now the day is beautiful with a breeze and sunny skies. The clouds will be intermittent, and there is a possibility of rain. I love days like this. The daytime is perfect, and it rains at night keeping the grass green and the flowers bright with color.

I have to go to Agway to pick up a flat of annuals. Four of the same plants in clay pots on the deck are dying. I also need dog and cat food and treats. I’m going to have to resist the temptation to buy more flowers.

Gracie has done well the last two days. She has eaten dog food and a whole bag of treats. She hasn’t had the dizziness and nausea of the previous three nights, and that is the best of all as she has slept through the night. I, however, am still exhausted. I don’t sleep deeply as I listen to check her breathing.

July is when all the hoopla begins here. The highways will have backups of cars trying to exit. The main roads will be filled with gawking tourists riding in slow motion so they don’t miss anything on either side of the road. It is even worse when it rains. I never leave the house in the summer on a rainy day because running into a traffic jam is cause for my swearing aloud and occasionally whacking the steering wheel.

I remember going to Islesboro, Maine one summer. We had to take the ferry as Islesboro is on an island. One day we went into nearest town, and my dad gave each of us some money to shop. I roamed through the store filled with postcards, individual inflatables, and all sorts of touristy kitsch. I ended up buying small dog magnets. One was white and the other black. They were both Scotties. I had them for years. They always reminded me of that vacation.

My deck is again a mess. It is covered in leaves and frass, the official name for caterpillar poop. I don’t even want to be out there under the trees, usually the perfect place as it is shady and gets any breeze. Now it also gets something else.

“The fireflies o’er the meadow In pulses come and go.”

July 11, 2016

I am beginning to think I am an extra in the movie Groundhog Day. I wake up to the same weather every day: overcast, chilly and damp. The rain sneaks in, just spitting rain my mother would have called it.

The week ahead is a quiet one for me with nothing planned, an empty dance card. We have yet to have a movie night as the nights have been quite chilly, down to the low 60’s. I’m hoping as the days gets warmer toward the middle of the week the nights too will be warm.

Yesterday I spend over an hour scrubbing the chairs and the table on the deck. They had been scrubbed once already, but it doesn’t long for the caterpillars to leave their frass all over the deck wood and the furniture. What is frass you ask?  It is caterpillar poop. There’s a new word to add to your vocabulary. Think of ways you can pepper your conversation with the word frass.

When I was kid, we used to capture caterpillars so they could walk all over our fingers and go from one hand to another. We thought they were fun to watch. I flicked a caterpillar off my deck the other day. I’ve had to spray some plants which have holes from munching caterpillars. They are eating machines who eat and poop and eat and poop.

When I was young, I was far more fascinated by bugs and snakes than I was afraid. The grasshoppers were great to watch as they jumped in front of us while we walked through the field. They were brown and not very big. They also weren’t all that fast as we could catch them with our hands. We always let them go. It was the fun of the chase we loved.

We didn’t often see snakes but the ones we did see were garter snakes. We’d find them in flower beds. I loved the way they moved. We’d stand and watch. We had no need to catch them unless it was to scare someone afraid of snakes. We’d hold the snake and run after the ‘fraidy cats and tell them the snake was going to bite them. We knew it wouldn’t but they didn’t.

The other night I went outside for a bit. My yard was aglow with fireflies. They were blinking in and out of the trees and along the fence. I stayed and watched for the longest time. I didn’t want to go in and miss them. They have always seemed magical to me though I know the mechanics of the glow. Science has its place and so does magic!